Prohibition – Russian Empire

russiantemperanceOn July 30, 1914, the Russian government ordered the mobilization of its army. Some days later a temporary vodka Prohibition went into effect. Army officers, especially those of the highest rank, where under obligation to carry out all measures which will diminish the use of alcoholic drinks in military units under their charge. In every officers papers must be particularly entered what his relation to alcoholic drink is. In the certificates of the military officials of all ranks had to be mentioned what their attitude is to the task of lessening the use of alcoholic drinks in the army divisions under them. The use of alcoholic drink was prohibited to enlisted men of all classes during active service, including the reserves and the Landwehr during their training.
The consumption of vodka in September 1913 was 9,232,921 kegs. In September 1914, the first complete month of Prohibition it had dropped to 102,714 kegs. In the same months financial receipts of the Monopoly collapsed. The decrease was actually 98 per cent, but Prohibition has never been successfully enforced; the sale and consumption of intoxicants have never been completely stopped; and total abstinence over a large area has never existed.
Hundreds of women could be seen waiting for their husbands in order to rescue a little of the weekly pay before it was too late. The greater part of the wages earned both by laborer and peasant were raked into the Monopoly shops. Now the women are able to visit the markets regularly on Saturdays.
In the USSR the last anti-alcohol campaign was initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev in mid-1980s. In Russia it became known as sukhoy zakon (dry law). This dry law became the last drop which triggered social tension in society which finally led to the collapse of the USSR. In July, 2011, President Dmitry Medvedev signed a federal law on the state regulation of production and trade of alcohol beverages, including beer. Under this ruling, from January 1st, 2013, sales of alcohol drinks in kiosks was banned and people won’t be allowed anymore to drink alcohol beverages in the streets and in parks.

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